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BMCC: Anti-glare film for LCD

September 16, 2012

UPDATE 7/17/16: My review of the Cineroid EVF I bought for use with my BMPC-4K.

For those lucky people in the world who have a Blackmagic Cinema Camera or Blackmagic Production Camera 4K in-hand, here’s what I hope will be a helpful tip:

In bright environments the very shiny 5″ capacitive touchscreen LCD on the BMCC and BMPC-4K is great to use as a mirror for checking if your hair is neat … and sometimes also for framing shots, focussing, selecting menu items, etc. in dimly lit environments.  🙂

3M manufactures a thin, flexible, slightly matte finish, anti-glare, transparent film designed to be compatible with the iPad and also capacitive touchscreen LCDs such as the one on the BMCC and BMPC-4K. sells it for about $20 US including free shipping. It’s a single piece sized to fit a 10″ iPad, so it can be easily cut using scissors to yield ~4 pieces to fit the cameras’ 5″ LCD.

The film is easily removable: It adheres via very strong static cling only, so there’s no glue of any kind which could damage the screen.

There’s no guarantee this will be a perfect solution, but perhaps inexpensive enough to try. YMMV.

Note 1: 3M also makes a similar film that has a glossy/shiny surface. You don’t want that one, because although it’ll protect the BMCC screen from scratches like the matte finish film, the glossy film is just as reflective as the original LCD; not what you want.

Note 2: The matte finish of an anti-glare film slightly reduces the perceived sharpness and maximum viewing angle of a display. Can’t be helped; that’s partly how the film works. However, this may be a price worth paying to be able to view the BMCC and BMPC-4K LCD w/o reflections in a bright environment. Just a heads-up.

Note 3: Other relatively low-budget alternatives to expensive HD-SDI external electronic viewfinders (EVF) such as Alphatron or Cineroid or monitors: Check out Hoodman touch-screen 5″ sunshades, or the GRID 5″ loupe, or the Munz 5″ loupe.

EDIT: Philip Bloom concurs.

EDIT: Andrew Julian found 3M anti-glare film to be helpful while shooting his very popular BMCC videos, “Trip to Mexico” and “Meet me in Big Sur“.

Update 2/28/14: I finally received my new BMPC-4K camera, and one of the first things I did was apply 3M anti-glare film to its LCD screen. It works exactly as expected, and I plan on keeping it there permanently. It’s a bit of a pain to install the film without getting at least a few air bubbles trapped between the film and the screen, but with patience I succeeded in getting a bubble-free result. One nice thing about the iPad-size sheet of film is that with scissors you can easily cut it into ~4 pieces to fit the camera’s 5″ LCD. Given that the full sheet costs only about $20, it’s a bargain.

I’ve revised my previous post on how I mounted a Hoodman HRT5 LCD shade on my BMPC-4K, and together with the 3M anti-glare film, used them to shoot this video (details on the Vimeo page):

Photo credit: Jon Carr

My list of related links, short films, and resources for Blackmagic Design cameras.

For my words only: ©2012 Peter J. DeCrescenzo. All rights reserved.

Note: I don’t receive income or renumeration for this blog, or for products seen or mentioned here. Advertisements on the page have nothing to do with me. The ads support WordPress, the publisher.

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